News : Digital Revolution Descends on Contact Centres
Johannesburg, July 2, 2014 -- The digital revolution is just beginning, and companies that fail to prepare for future customer expectations will be left behind, delegates heard at this week's Interactive Intelligence Contact Centre in the Cloud Executive Forum.
Interactive Intelligence's manager, Sales Operations for Africa, Deon Scheepers, said the "nexus of forces" including social media, mobile, big data and cloud was only now gaining momentum in Africa. But Africa is catching up with the world, and when it does, customer expectations will drive significant change in how contact centres interact and deliver service. "Globally, customers are expecting more and they are expecting it faster," he noted.
Scheepers highlighted Interactive Intelligence's latest annual surveys, which poll contact centre professionals and customers globally.
"Effective follow-up is now the most valued aspect of customer service interaction globally, while in South Africa, a knowledgeable agent is still top priority," he said. Globally, the top customer frustration when dealing with contact centres is being transferred multiple times, followed by not being able to understand the agent. And globally, customers said they were highly likely to share both positive and negative customer experiences with friends and family via social media.
In order to capture and react to any customer pronouncements, every organisation needs to have a single and holistic view of all customer interactions. What this means for contact centres is that they need to have access to all customer-relevant information and offer multi-channel interactions in order to meet customer expectations," said Scheepers.
Delegates heard that cloud-based contact centres using a single integrated platform allow enterprises to consolidate data, ensure reliability and scalability, and support multi-channel engagement and a single view of the customer, all of which enhances customer service.
Gareth Mellon, senior industry analyst for ICT at Frost & Sullivan, said the decreasing cost of bandwidth and storage, and increasing personal use of cloud services is driving cloud uptake by enterprises and contact centres. The key reasons for contact centres to adopt cloud now, he said, were capital budget constraints, cost savings, access to the latest technologies and the need for flexible site and agent provisioning.
Chris Majer, Interactive Intelligence's cloud practice manager for EMEA, added: "Cloud really can be described as the perfect storm."
He said the old concerns about security and cost were falling away as cloud proved itself in the contact centre space, and that Interactive Intelligence was seeing a significant swing to cloud among its own clients, in line with global trends. "Cloud now makes up 70% of our annual orders globally, and made up 85% of our EMEA orders this year," he revealed.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Interactive Intelligence:
Interactive Intelligence Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ININ) is a global provider of cloud services for customer engagement, communications and collaboration designed to help businesses worldwide improve service, increase productivity and reduce costs. Backed by a 20-plus year history of industry firsts, 100-plus patent applications, and more than 6,000 global customer deployments, Interactive offers customers fast return on investment, along with robust reliability, scalability and security. It's also the only company recognized by the top global industry analyst firm as a leader in both the cloud and on-premises customer engagement markets. The company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and has more than 2,000 employees worldwide
Published: Friday, July 4, 2014